|New Channel for Sino-African Cooperation|
On October 9, in the Rwandan exhibition hall themed “Take You to China,” Abudu, a Rwandan businessman, had just negotiated an order worth 100,000 RMB. This batch of pots and small appliances will be shipped from Yiwu to the port of Dar es Salaam by sea within a week, travel to Rwanda by land, and will then be delivered to the buyers. The exhibition hall is located in the prosperous business circle of Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. A variety of commodities are displayed in the exhibition hall, and a large number of buyers are looking for quality Chinese goods here every day.
In order to integrate into the Belt & Road construction and follow the development strategy of “Going Global” of Yiwu small commodities, Commodities City Group is improving its overseas network system. In October 2019, Commodities City Group and Alibaba launched a cooperation on the World Electronic Trade Platform (eWTP) and established the eWTP Yiwu Global Innovation Center—the Rwanda Digital Trade Hub. The “Take You to China” exhibition hall is the offline showroom of the digital hub in Rwanda.
Since the Rwanda Trade Service Center themed “Take You to China” was launched, it has formed a pattern of “two parks and one center.” Of these, the Rwanda Digital Trade Hub functions as the bonded overseas logistics park. As a crucial warehouse of Chinese products in East Africa, it was co-established by Commodities City Group and DP World by leasing a warehouse with an area of 2500 square meters. With the help of eWTP, the logistics park, and Rwanda’s influence on the markets of eastern Congo (DRC), Burundi, and other countries, a distribution center for Yiwu small commodities in East Africa is expected to be constructed.
The “Take You to China” Rwandan exhibition hall, with an area of nearly 300 square meters, was put on trial in July 2020. It is equipped with many functions and offers services such as international video calls, livestreaming, product display, business talks, and sales. The Rwanda Trade Service Center includes the bonded overseas warehouse logistics park and the exhibition hall, and it is building a distribution center in East and Central Africa for import and export commodities, relying on the online and offline sites themed “take you to China,” the overseas warehouse system, global logistics system, digital trade hub, and financial services for the supply chain.
Through the processes of “showing samples in the exhibition hall, carrying out remote negotiation, and shipping from the bonded warehouse,” cross-border orders can be completed quickly and goods can soon be delivered, which is an excellent solution to the pandemic situation. The Information and Communication Technology Department of the Rwanda Private Sector Federation stated that digital technology has made it easier for Rwandan residents to live in lockdown during the pandemic since they can buy daily necessities online. Online cross-border trade is creating opportunities for cross-border sales and shopping for the Rwandan people.
This platform has also cooperated with the Rwandan government to support Rwandan producers to introduce Rwandan products, especially agricultural products, into the Chinese market through the promotion and guidance of the “Let’s go to China” project.
Through the effective cooperation of the warehouse and the exhibition hall of the Rwanda project, the international import and export supply chain has been shortened, which empowers international trade and improves the influence of Chinese manufacturing in the African market. (By Luo Yi, translated by Wei Han, edited by Kendra Fiddler)